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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  September 11, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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our objective is clear, we will degrade and ultimately destroy isil through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy. we will conduct a systematic campaign of air strikes against these terrorists. we'll increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground. we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent isil attacks. we'll continue to provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians displaced by this terrorist organization. this is our strategy, and in each of these four parts of our strategy, america will be joined by a broad coalition of partners. american leadership at its best. american leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world. it is america that has the capacity and will to mobilize the world against terrorists. isil is a terrorist organization pure and simple. if you threaten america, you will find no safe haven.
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>> some powerful words there. but critics say they wanted more. who is in this coalition? and which members of the syrian opposition will we support? and what's the long-term role of u.s. troops? nearly 500 more are headed to iraq as advisers. remember, that's the first u.s. troops were sent into vietnam. the president insists there's no u.s. combat role in iraq. but regardless of what you call them, they will be in a war zone armed just like combat troops. and right now on the hill, the senate is about to be briefed on the details of the president's plan for both iraq and syria. house members had their turn this morning. the biggest role right now for congress is debating funding to train and arm those unspecified syrian rebels. we start, though, at the white house where the flag is at half staff for 9/11. kristen welker is there. and kristen, you know, big speech last night, how does the administration feel about the reaction? >> well, i think it's largely what they were expecting. you have republicans like senators john mccain and lindsey
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graham saying president obama's underestimating the threat from isis. they would like to see special forces in addition to some of those forces that you mentioned who will be going in and advisory roles. and then you have democrats facing tough reelections, also questioning the president, including senator mark udall. i think that's what the administration was expecting. presidents do get support from congress when they make the case the u.s. interests are threatened. nothing is certain given this congress. we're going to see a robust debate. that is for sure. now, the white house is asking congress to give the president authority to train and arm syrian -- those syrian rebels, the syrian opposition group. that is currently what is going to be under debate. that's going to be taken up next week. and the daily press briefing. josh earnest said that the white house wants to see congress pass
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this as a part of the continuing resolution. that is a piece of legislation that will keep the government funded. this is what earnest had to say moments ago, take a listen. >> it is our preference that congress would add title 10 training authority to the continuing resolution. and the reason for that is simply that the president needs this authority as soon as possible in order to direct united states military to ramp up our assistance to the syrian opposition. >> lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to understand there is a sense of urgency to this. in fact, the house will cancel a planned vacation day on monday to come back and debate that very issue. the other thing that is certain is that this is going to be a long-term engagement, one that will likely last for the remainder of president obama's tenure here at the white house as well as likely into his successor's next term.
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back to you. >> absolutely, kristen welker, thank you as always. now to capitol hill and democratic senator joe manchin of the armed services committee. senator, it's always great to have you. thank you so much for joining us. >> good to be with you. >> you saw the speech last night. did the president answer all of your questions? are you ready to vote for more resources? >> first of all, it was a powerful speech. one i haven't seen him give since he's been president. i was very pleased with that. he laid out a directional plan, and that was very pleasing also. now, once we get into the details, i'll know at 4:00 here very shortly more of what's inside of that. i have a problem with one part, one part mainly. that is training and arming syrian rebels that we're not sure are our friends. i asked the question, why can't the saudis, why can't the arab nations that -- it's in their backyard. why can't they do that? they have the resources, they have the expertise, it's to
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their best interest also. we can give the technical air support, the tactical -- we can do all the things that we're very, very good at. and we're not good at putting troops on the ground and getting out of that part of the world. it hasn't been proven good the last -- >> senator, was there an answer to that question when you asked it? >> not yet. not yet, but i'm going to ask the question at 4:00. >> so, senator, does that mean that you are unlikely to vote for authorization to train and arm rebels there in syria? >> i have -- right now, i can't do that. i cannot support arming the rebels who we have not been able to identify. the last i heard about the rebels in syria, these are the same people, maybe, who sold one of our correspondents who got their head cut off. i'm just saying, it's a very unstable situation. we have proven that people we have trained, people we have
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clothed, people we have fed, people we have armed turn those arms against us. i just don't -- i just don't see the end game here unless those people, basically the nation, arab nations from that part of the world who have plenty of resources, plenty of wealth, plenty of expertise, plenty of arms that are right next door that could be training these rebels, why shouldn't they be doing it? why do we have to do it? >> senator, i too, don't understand what the end game is for this campaign that we're about to launch. i assume you are uncomfortable, once again, going to war without a clearly defined end point. >> absolutely. now, here's what. i support whole heartedly, and i think our mission should be very clear to everybody in the world. if you plan to do harm, if you're training to do harm, if you're preparing to do harm to america or americans anywhere you are, we have the right to come and get you. and we'll do it. we have the tactical, technicians, special ops. we have the air force, we have the drones, we'll have all of
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the technology available to us. we do not have to put men and women from america in harm's way any more than must be in order for us to protect america. with that being said, that part of the world has to be willing to fight and die for themselves. they have to have some identity to them. they have to have input to this. they can't say the americans will come and do it all. then we'll blame the americans and we'll fault them for choosing sides. you know, they said, well, you've chose the shiites over the sunnis. the sunnis made isil the threat they are today. we're still going to have terrorists. and i don't think there's going to be a time in our life, your life of our children's lives we won't have terrorists in the world that we have to be concerned about. and i have to be convinced there's a direct threat. i believe isil is a threat to the united states of america. i've gone to all the intel, the secured briefings, i just came from a noon intel briefing, i'm getting all the knowledge and
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all the information i possibly can to make an informed decision. i'm just not sold that it is the right direction for us to go since we have a history and a track record that for 12 years we've tried this. >> yep. >> we've tried this, and these are people we built up a 200,000 person army in iraq. we spent $1 trillion. we've armed them, we fed them, we've trained -- >> need to learn from our history, absolutely. >> walked away. >> sounds like the meeting at 4:00 will be interesting and very, very important. thank you very much for your time. we appreciate it. >> always good to be with you. and for another perspective, let's bring in jerry connolly who serves on the foreign affairs committee. and, congressman, if and when congress has to vote on allocating more resources to the region, what do you expect the outcome to be? this is not a partisan issue where it's entirely clear each way each party would go. and adhering to senator manchin moments ago, sounds like a number of questions. >> i'm sure there are a number
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of questions. and i think there'll continue to be. you asked how the vote would go. i would guess if you had to vote now, there'd be a pretty substantial bipartisan majority in favor of some kind of authorization to proceed. >> congressman, this is blake for ari. we heard the president last night in his speech saying he was committed to really limiting ground troops in this mission. but just this morning, marco rubio, a potential presidential contender says he feels quite differently that we should be much more open to the idea of combat troops given the fact they're going to have a new president in 2 1/2 years. could be someone more like rubio. how does that affect your thinking about this mission? >> i -- i think the president is right in reading where the american public is, which is truly wary of combat missions after two of the longest wars in our history.
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and i don't think that the public wants to be engaged in another military conflict on the ground. that isn't the same as saying that the public is not supportive of trying to curb this fanatical, radical, jihadist movement that is a threat to many of our regional partners in the middle east. >> congressman, is it your view that the president has the constitutional authority, has the authority to act alone without authorization from congress in terms of further military action here? >> i favor the white house coming to the congress and asking for a new authorization. i think citing a 13-year authorization for the use of military force that is clearly stale and clearly was designed for a different set of circumstances, albeit in the same region, i think is a real stretch.
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and i think the president would be much better served with the clean route of coming to congress, recognizing its constitutional role here and asking for support. and if he did that right now, i believe he would get that support. >> very interesting. congressman connolly, thank you very much for joining us. appreciate it. >> thank you. up next, the world is reacting to the president's call. who is and isn't committed to helping fight isis. plus, live to iraq and talk military strategy with former deputy undersecretary of defense paul brinkley and will remember, of course, the day that plunged us into the war on terror. it's thursday, september 11th, 2014. you pay your auto insurance premium every month on the dot. you're like the poster child for paying on time. and then one day you tap the bumper of a station wagon. no big deal... until your insurance company jacks up your rates. you freak out. what good is having insurance if you get punished for using it? hey insurance companies, news flash. nobody's perfect.
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this is not our fight alone. we cannot do for iraqis what they must do for themselves. nor can we take the place of arab partners in securing their region. >> president obama last night calling for a broad coalition of allies to join the fight against isis. and this afternoon, the world is responding. secretary of state john kerry announced arab states, including saudi arabia, egypt, jordan and lebanon will join as appropriate in a coordinated military campaign to degrade and defeat isis. >> i was very pleased to say the countries that were here today that joined in the communique that is being issued today had all, each of them committed to play a role in achieving this mission. this is a moment which is one of those rare opportunities in
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history where leaders making the right choices can actually bend the arc of history in the right direction. in the goals, direction of the goals that we share. peace and prosperity and security for all. >> still, many allies remain on the fence. britain says it hasn't ruled out air strikes against syria but won't yet commit to them either. germany hasn't been asked to take part, but wouldn't anyway. and turkey says their air bases are off limits and won't join any combat missions. kerry heads to turkey next. joining us now is michael shear. thanks so much for joining us. last night, we heard the president say he wanted a broad coalition of partners to help with this mission. as we know, last time, we had a war in iraq, we had a big problem in terms of getting our allies on board here. what's your expectation of what this coalition will look like
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this time around? and what do you make of today's developments so far on this front? >> my expectations as in recent conflicts that we've had before, including iraq, the talk of coalition is about public opinion. it's not really about military strikes on the ground. this is going to be mostly an american-led air proerpgs, american led intelligence operation. the supportive roles of the arab states of other european countries are important for diplomatic reasons, reasons of world opinion. but they're not necessarily essential to meet the military aims. and i don't think the president or the pentagon are going to lose a lot of sleep over that. you're going to have in a couple of weeks the president going to the united nations and making the case there. and you had today, russia come out and say that any strikes inside syria, military strikes inside syria would be a violation of international law. and so that will be another thing the president's going to have to deal with. this is going to be an american-led operation, with the support of regional allies. but we are the ones choosing to
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do this. that's pretty clear. >> michael, you point out what moscow had to say to last night's speech. it was not warm and fuzzy, as we just pointed out. they said this might be an aggression, a gross violation of international law. if we don't get a u.n. security council decision supporting this. john kerry pointed out how ridiculous that is. let's roll a bit of him. >> i'm really rather surprised that russia would dare -- after what's happened in eastern ukraine. >> but putin has been supportive of al assad, so it's disconcerting to hear russia saying we are not complete with this plan. >> russia is not a fan of isis. and they're obviously upset with us and going to try to cause as many problems as they can for us, and they're an ally of assad
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and syria. there are ways, in which, our interests align with putin and assad's here, and it's going to be a delicate dance to figure out what international, you know, piece of paper we can put, everybody can put their names to to say isis is a bad group and needs to be destroyed. >> it's pathetic that should be so hard. >> mm-hmm. >> but it's also true that it's always something that is concerning when you have countries doing bombing in other countries. even, you know, when it's called for. i mean, the other issue we haven't talked about is a huge part of the president's plan to support ground troops in the region for regional allies. we really don't know the quality of the iraqi military at this point. how much of the iraqi military doesn't exist in any real sense. how much of it is basically now working with the iranian military aides that are working in iraq and how much will be able to come to bear under our guidance. there are a lot of questions
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about how much this international support will help. and you mentioned at the top there, the other unknown factor right now is turkey, turkey has enormous interest in containing isis within the borders of syria, not having that fight spill over to their borders. to date, they have basically allowed, you know, a transit point for isis fighters to enter the country. they're obviously very hesitant of, you know, going into a full-on war effort against that group. and we're going to have to massage that to figure out a way they are both, you know, they can strike the middle ground they need to strike. >> michael, as we think about the way that international actors viewed last night's speech, it's a little bit of an odd question, but how do you think isis viewed the speech? because on the one hand, it was incredibly important for the president to come out and directly address the threat from isis, give americans reassurance that this is the direction that we're heading in, that we are going to defeat isis. on the other hand, it had to be
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in a weird way sort of gratifying for isis to hear the president of the united states coming out and making a prime time address directed specifically at them. >> yeah, i can't speak for what they're thinking. i can, though, say what they've done. i mean, isis is a group that very much wants to be seen as a state, as a new caliphate. not just an occupying force or a terrorist group. and you could argue that the fact that the world is now aligning against them suggests that they have achieved to some extent that goal. i mean, as we speak right now, they are operating like a state in a significant piece of land that straddles two countries. and i -- i would presume, maybe, there's, you know, a way in which that is gratifying to them. i would also say, though, they've suffered at the hands of military air strikes for several weeks now. i think they have a huge shift coming in their military campaign. it's not going to be like
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fighting assad or fighting the shiite side of the iraqi army. having american military bombers be able to target, having the satellite capabilities we do really changes what they're going to be able to do over the coming months and probably years. >> yeah, michael, you mentioned there's still questions around whose boots are going to be on the ground if they are not, in fact, ours. and it seems the president continues to get trapped in his own rhetoric by setting these high expectations as we saw a year ago drawing the red line against syria. and in this case, we're hearing over and over again, there will be no u.s. troops -- boots on the ground, rather, why is he setting this expectation when we're sending in more special forces who will likely be wearing boots? and we don't even know where we will be a week from now. isn't this the time where we should be laying out every option, putting everything on the table possible? >> or at least giving everyone slippers they can put on instead. >> there's the answer. >> yeah. the answer is domestic politics.
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president obama got elected to get us out of ground wars in the middle east and asia. and he very much wants to do that. and he also believes, i think, quite honestly, that the strategy here is not better served with a large ground, u.s. ground force there. that, you know, he said a number of times, his aides said a number of times, in situations like this, u.s. forces on the ground will be able to stabilize a situation for a time, but there's no permanent solution that comes from u.s. ground forces that's better, therefore, to have auxiliary forces, forces in the region doing that fighting because they're going to be able to establish a more stable situation when we leave. >> thank you so much for your insights. >> thank you. and up next, the military angle. former deputy undersecretary of defense paul brinkley joins us live from iraq. and later, sports and law collide in two big stories of the day. more ray rice fallout and a verdict for olympian oscar pistorius. new york state is jump-starting business with startup-ny.
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it will take time to eradicate a cancer like isil, and any time we take military action, there are risks involved. i want the american people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in iraq and afghanistan. it will not involve american combat troops, fighting on foreign soil. this counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out isil wherever they exist using our air power. and our support for partners, forces on the ground. >> for reaction to the u.s. military's role in iraq and syria, let's bring in president obama's former deputy undersecretary of defense paul brinkley. paul is now president and ceo of north america western asia holdings and joins us from inside iraq. and paul, you know, the biggest thing that remained unclear after the president's speech last night is who inside syria is going to help us out? this seems to be the big question many people are asking
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today. and david fromm tweeted this out last night. said, who are these forces on the ground the president cited? in syria, it's hezbollah, and iran's revolutionary guards that are fighting isis. are these our two options here? and if that's the case, don't we have every reason to be skeptical? >> well, i think that you have the same problem on both sides of the border. in each case, the structures we may have been able to rely upon that are indigenous among the sunni communities in both of these countries have been worn down or allowed to atrophy in the case of iraq to a state they don't exist anymore. and in syria, to whatever set of processes have unfolded here over the last three years, the moderate opposition we would hope to work with is really in the act of being reconstructed. a similar thing has to happen in iraq. it's a reconstruction of
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awakening type sunni groups, probably the most encouraging thing i heard in the speech was a reference to a structural national guard-like element that would institutionalize that kind of local defense force that we created during the surge but was allowed through government neglect in baghdad to atrophy away. so i think it's really the same problem on both sides, which is why this is not going to be solved quickly, this is not going to happen fast. >> paul, last night we heard the president liken this mission to what we've been doing in somalia and yemen where there have been selective air strikes over the last several years. nbc's richard engel took issue with that characterization. have a listen. >> the strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us while supporting partners on the front lines is one that we have successfully pursued in yemen and somalia for years. >> i think it is wildly off base, frankly. i think it's an oversimplification of the problem. here we have a large group, tens of thousands of fighters.
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they control an area the size of maryland. they control an area that has 8 million people living inside of it. it's much more akin to regime change than it is to waiting back picking targets with allied forces. >> paul, who's right here? >> reporter: well, i mean, i don't want to sound like i'm splitting hairs. i don't know i'd go as far to say it's a regime change, but certainly the size and scale of what we're up against now is far larger. i want to remind your viewers, it was 160,000 u.s. forces in iraq, unlimited air assets, and an amazing set of intelligence assets, plus tribal security structures, and it took all of that to drive a much weaker, much less well funded, much less structured al qaeda out of iraq. we should not approach this with a thought that this will go quickly absent that kind of commitment of indigenous
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capability because the simple fact is, the u.s. is not about to put that level of troop commitment in place. in fact, any troop commitment in place to make this go faster. >> paul, you talk about troops, the president announced 475 more military folks are headed to iraq, that brings the number of military folks there to about 1,600. they're not supposed to be combat troops, what exactly are they supposed to be doing? and if something goes down, they will become combat troops, right? >> well, that all depends on where they're deployed, what areas they're deployed in. my expectation right now, those troops are largely working within headquarters functions, both in baghdad and deployed locations. but not on the front line to help in terms of both assessing, which i think a lot of the mission has been an assessment mission and then providing support and assistance to interpreting particular opportunities that are tactical for kinetic type operations.
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but at this level, even with these additional 400-odd troops, the main benefit is to boost morale, to recreate a sense of collaboration that the u.s. military had fostered with peshmerga and iraqi security forces for a period of years. and i think that's the primary benefit at this point. >> and paul, the president has been quite clear, no american combat troops on the ground. can isis be defeated without american combat troops on the ground? >> isis cannot be defeated without combat troops on the ground whether american or anyone else. as i mentioned, it'll take the creation, honestly, of an indigenous security corporation among tribes, local leaders, a national guard-like structure as he described that already existed but was allowed to atrophy away both through overt
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acts of baghdad and just neglect. that will have to be recreated and they'll have to be the foot soldiers that will have to fight for their own homeland. in a manner that prevents the building of momentum as much as we saw isis accumulating. and so that's just the difficult reality that we're facing here. >> yeah. some strong words there, paul brinkley, inside of iraq. thank you very much for joining us. we appreciate it. all right. we have new sound from secretary of state kerry in saudi arabia. he was asked if limited air strikes and no boots on the ground don't work, will the administration be drawn into escalating? take a listen to his answer and we'll be right back. >> this is a longer process than that. the president's been very careful to say to people, this is a long-term effort. it's not going to be measured that way. air strikes don't work. what, in four months, six months, i can't tell you. what i can tell you is with the coalition that is being built now, there will be a sufficient level of commitment to this task
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and see how one small change can lead to good things. welcome back to "the cycle" on the most haunting day of the calendar year, 9/11. it's hard to believe it's been 13 years since our world changed forever. in this era, when we seem so divided, the anniversary of the attack should serve to remind us all all we are in this together. today, there have been several reminders, beginning here in new york at 8:46 a.m., at the exact moment the first plane hit the world trade center. keeping with tradition, the names of each of the 2,753, they were read aloud, 7,2, 753 peopl guilty of nothing more than
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going to work that morning. president obama attending the memorial for the people who died there. >> we carry on because as americans, we do not give in to fear. ever. >> in shanksville, pennsylvania, where that fourth plane crashed, united flight 93 going down in a rural field. instead of potentially into the white house because a group of brave americans onboard said, not on my watch. after all these years, there are still stories of heroism emerging from the proverbial rubble of that day. tonight at 8:00 p.m., our friends over at the discovery channel document a number of those stories told through the eyes of the nypd's emergency service unit, an elite group of police officers. >> we're the s.w.a.t. and the rescue team. it's an elite group of highly trained, highly motivated individuals.
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who worked together as one cohesive unit. >> think of them as the navy s.e.a.l.s of the nypd. each converged on lower manhattan that day during which they lost 14 of their brothers. they gained the bond that can never be broken. one of the most poignant stories after the second tower had fallen when hope was fading fast that anyone would be found alive. >> it is the start of one of the most remarkable rescues in the history of new york. cops are trapped 30 feet inside the pile. the first e-men to get to the scene are patty mcgee from the bronx and scott strauss from long island. they are about to embark on the most dangerous mission of their lives. >> i'm on my knees in a small hole, and the hole we were in,
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the area around us is on fire, the smoke is billowing up at us. and as i'm climbing down this hole head first on an angle about 30 feet down saying good-bye to my kids and my wife. to myself. will says you're not leaving me, are you? we're not leaving you, will. you know, whatever it is, it is. one way or another, we're getting you out. did i want to go? you better believe i did. but i couldn't. because there was no way i could go home and look at my kids, and look at myself in the mirror knowing that i left somebody there to die and didn't do my best to get them out. >> and that was scott strauss who risked it all to save the life of a comrade. he went way beyond the call of duty to save one of his brothers. it would be the first of two successful rescues lasting until daybreak on september 12th when the rising sun brought with it a small glimmer of hope for a weary nation. scott is now retired from the
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force but continues to serve the people of new york as the mayor out on long island. and we are honored to have scott here at the table for us. >> thank you, guys. >> did you have any idea when you were performing that rescue how important it would be this beacon of hope on such a terrible day for so many people? >> no, we didn't realize how important -- well, every life is important. >> of course. >> we didn't realize the magnitude of it. myself and my fellow cops that were there that day. all we wanted to do was to find somebody. and all day long, we were searching crevices, opening, what's left of the buildings and we were finding nobody. and at about 8:00, we got word there were two police officers strapped in the center of the pile. didn't matter who they were, that they were police officers, but they were alive and we were going to do everything we could to get them out. it was something we needed to hold on to. and their injuries were so severe, and they were so deeply
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buried, we didn't think they would survive the rescue attempt, but fortunately, they did. >> thank god. scott, as you were going down this dark hole, you thought you might not make it out, and you were saying good-bye to your wife and to your kids. what was the first thing you said to them the next time you saw them? and what was going through your mind at that moment? >> the first time that i saw my kids and my wife was september 12th in the late afternoon when they had come home from school. i had gotten out of the hospital about 11:00, 11:30 on wednesday, september 12th. and i went back to my truck and they said, guys, get some rest, we need you back on duty at 5:00. some guy stayed. i decided to go home and see my kids. i got them off the bus. i hugged them, i said, listen, i've got to go back to work. they were about 9 and 6 at the time, and begging me not to go back, and i told them, i've got to go back, i've got to help more people, there's more people
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alive. and we honestly believed there were. we were going to do everything we possibly could to find everybody we possibly could. they were crying when i left and i didn't dare look back. and then there we are. >> scott, you saved lives, and through that, you changed lives, but 14 of your brothers in your unit were lost in that rescue attempt on that day. if you could speak to them, what would you say to them? >> thanks. thanks for doing what you did down there, sorry we p couldn't get you out. look after your families. >> scott, i understand that you visited the site for the first time last night, for the first time in 13 years since all this happened. what was -- what was the feeling when you stepped back on that ground for the first time? >> pretty emotional. i didn't go into the museum. i just walked around the tower's footprints. it was great to see, very nice tribute there to everybody that was killed that day and certainly everybody that fought and lived that day.
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it was a solemn place, a quiet place, there was really no fanfare. it was just a very nice emotional place to be. >> it is 13 years later, which in a lot of ways is really hard to believe. does the emotion of this day, does it change over time or is it just as raw now as it was on the first-year anniversary? >> for me, i think it gets a little harder. i'm not sure why. >> the initial shock wears off? >> yeah. you know, you think that i hope nobody ever forgets, you think it might slow down a little bit, the emotion, it might go away. and, yes, i lost only 14 friends and the reason why i say only is because there were so many people that lost more. but i didn't lose a family member. and if we were feeling this emotion on losing friends, i can't imagine the families, what they're going through and will continue to go through as certainly as more of us become
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sick and suffer the consequences of acting that day. >> certainly puts things in perspective. makes you count your blessings. scott strauss, thank you so much. >> thank you, guys. appreciate it. >> and, again, the special 9/11 rescue cops, that airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. only on the discovery channel. we will be right back. what if there was a credit card where the reward was that new car smell and the freedom of the open road? a card that gave you that "i'm 16 and just got my first car" feeling. presenting the buypower card from capital one. redeem earnings toward part or even all of a new chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac - with no limits. so every time you use it, you're not just shopping for goods. you're shopping for something great. learn more at buypowercard.com
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major legal issues flowing out of the sports world are also dominating the news today. the ray rice domestic violence situation continues to matastisiz matastisized. how long will roger goodell remain commissioner after a report that a new jersey law enforcement official sent a dvd of the infamous elevator assault, which we will not show now, to an nfl executive back in april. goodell's credibility and future are now in question. his fate could be determined by an investigation by former fbi director robert mueller. meanwhile, earlier today, in south africa, oscar pistorius' fate was handed down by a judge, not guilty of murdering his girlfriend reeva steenkamp, but faces lesser charges when court resumes tomorrow. to make sense of what happened there and what's happening in the nfl, friend of the show, karen desoto is here.
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karen, the nfl has a massive legal and moral problem over the last 14 years, 77 players have been involved in domestic violence incidents and that's all we know about, right? there are perhaps, many more that we don't know about. it's a national problem, but let's deal with the nfl and it's not about ray rice and certainly not about roger goodell and a massive problem. what should the nfl do to try to get a handle on this. >> first of all, with such a high rate you might want maybe have mandatory counseling for all of those people that have those issues. for all of the ones that we know about, when about. the ones that we don't know about. people will say football is an inherently violent sport and they'll be at a higher risk and you can make it a prior onity. you can make it it a directive that we are not going to tolerate it. that's what you do. that's what the nfl does. it's a billion dollar corporation. they know what they're doing and
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trust me, if somebody will take away your job and your money you will adhere to the rules of the nfl. >> one would hope so. 15 female senators calling on the the nfl to do exactly that and have a zero tolerance policy. what about the criminal justice system here? law enforcement had these videos. why wasn't ray rice prosecuted. >> >> this isn't law enforcement, per se. the police officers are the ones in new jersey who give out the ticket. it's the prosecutor who makes the judgment call, and i can tell you as a prosecutor who has done domestic violence. i did not dismiss them, okay? and was directed to put even if the woman said she did not want to get on the stand that she wouldn't testify and called me a stand if i did put her on the stand and that's how serious it gets. i would rather try the case and have the case lose and go to trial rather than dismissing the case and that's a directive and that's the prosecutor making that call. it's their judgment. you can have a polhamicy that s
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you don't dismiss like i did when i was a prosecutor. >> a law enforcement official said they sent the tape to an nfl executive and that they received a message back saying i saw it. it's terrible and now they have this big investigation going on headed by the former head of the fbi. do you see a scenario here where goodell would have to step aside? >> well, obviously if somebody is lying and they get caught lying that will be a pretty serious issue. in these cases in the domestic violence cases you get the information pretty quickly because it's a two-tiered system. you have the criminal and the restraining order that happens ten days, two weeks after it happens and all of the discovery is done in there and the idea that the nfl had no idea when we've heard stories about what they do and who they talk to and if they want information they'll go through your garbage, correct? those are allegations that have been made in the past. this information that's out
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floating around in two or three different courts, i find it unlikely that someone wasn't able to get the tape and perhaps the person at the casino, you know, the employee who may have sold this tape, obviously, there were multiple copies floating around. how the nfl didn't have a copy of it is beyond me. >> it seems like they didn't want to see it. >> it's not every day that we have two criminal justice sports stories, thankfully, but today we do have one in the news and domestic violence. >> oscar pistorius, the initial verdict came in not guilty of murder it looks like, but he does face a lesser charge of something called culpable homicide. >> which is equivalent to involuntary manslaughter. okay. great. we are not experts in south african law. how does the standard of justice differ in south africa? is it it something similar some. >> it is so funny because een here in our own country the standards change depending where you are and what state you're in whether it's federal and whether it's state. in south africa there is a high
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criminal rate there. there is a lot of violence. he could have been found on a murder charge and three levels of intent there and the judge in this case said that the prosecutor did not meet his burden which was kind of odd because there's a lot of information that contradicted what she was saying. >> right. that he had time and that a reasona believe person should have stopped themselves that he had time to contain himself and think which here wounds up in a second-degree murder charge. so he's facing the involuntary right now. i am sure the ross cure the is very disturbed and very upset because i think we can all agree that a woman found in the wee hours of the morning locked in a bathroom in itself is premeditation in the sense that, you know there really is just no other good reason and we have refined our definitions over the years with murder and second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. south africa, obviously, isn't there and we've had a few of our own cases that should have been stiffer in the light of domestic violence. >> what sort of sentence can can
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he actually face. >> he can do the culpable negligence and that could be up to five years and they'll have a second hearing after this where it's like a sentencing hearing and if he's grossly negligent he could face up to 15 years, but more than likely if she's saying he's fth that's about five years and in south africa if you get a sentence over two years, rule of thumb is you will do half your sentence. >> better than what most people were predicting. >> transitioning here on 9/11, we, of course, remember our first responders and i recently had a once in a life time experience spending the day with some of new york's bravest. the men and women of the new york fire department. it was so intense seeing everything that they do. we put out fires. we practiced rescue operations and climbed a six-story building all while wearing more than a hundred pounds of gear. take a look. >> i'll go around and the winds are whipping around like this. moving closer. keep going in.
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all the way. all the way. lean your body forward. perfect. look at you. you are very brave. >> now whenever a fire truck races down the streets of new york city i'm even more humbled and grateful for what these men and women do. go to "the cycle," msnbc.com and we will be right back. [ male announcer ] with the taste of our chicken florentine farfalle skillets for two. bertolli. italy is served.
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>> thanks for being with us on this solemn day in america. continuing coverage of the remembrances throughout our great nation continues on "now." on an anniversary of terror, the u.s. confronts a new threat. it's thursday, september 11th and this is "now." >> their barbarity knows no limits. they have to be stopped. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the president outlines his isis strategy. >> this move that he's making will define the rest of his presidency. >> i think this president will do whatever it it takes to kill isis. >> secretary of state john kerry trying to rally support for action against isis from our arab allies. >> will others truly put boots on the ground in syria. ?

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